Mankind was created on purpose and for a purpose. When God created the world he created light and then separated the light from the darkness to create the first day. He went on to separate the waters and to make dry land appear, and on that land he created plants and trees. He created different seasons in different places and placed stars in the sky along with the sun and the moon. He filled the waters with all sorts of living creatures and filled the skies with birds and told them to “be fruitful and increase in number” (Gen. 1:22). Then the following day he created creatures to fill the lands and he created man in His own image to “rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground” (Gen. 1:26).
God instructed man to “be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Gen. 1:28). God created man and immediately commanded them to be fruitful and increase in number, just as he had commanded the animals, but he also commanded man to subdue the earth. Man was immediately given a purpose after the creator of the universe “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7). God placed him into the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. God created all the living creatures, but he brought them all to Adam to be named. Even though Adam was created he was created in the image of God and he shared a fellowship with God unlike any other.
Man was created to operate in relationship with God, but when man decided not to listen to God and sinned against Him the relationship was severed. Man was kicked out of the Garden where he was once given full reign and control over all things to care for them and to subdue them. On that day man lost more than he could have ever known. Today some things have changed for those who chose to follow Jesus because of His death on the cross. When Jesus died the veil was torn that separated man from God in the temple and because of this man is able to speak to God and to approach Him without going through a priest or a high priest because Jesus has become the greatest high priest and sits at the right hand of God the Father to intercede on our behalf.
With Jesus interceding on our behalf and the Holy Spirit guiding us in our lives we have the opportunity to enter into a place of communication and relationship with God. The relationship is certainly not what it was in the Garden and until Jesus returns it will not be like that again, but we are able to talk to God and to listen to Him in such a manner that we can live our lives to the fullest. The problem is that just as Adam chose to ignore God and to turn away from Him we do the same thing. We allow ourselves to be deceived by Satan who wants nothing more than to rob us of our glory and joy that can only come from the Father. Jesus told us that “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (Jn. 10:10). If we want to have a full life we must follow Jesus and resist the temptations of Satan.
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
It is only by placing our trust in God and following Him that we are able to be near to God and to be who we were created to be. It is through our faith and belief in Him that we are able to recognize what He is leading us into, but the opposite is also true. When we fail to seek Him, when we turn our hearts away from God our lives begin to reflect something that God did not intend for them to be. We must keep our eyes set upon Jesus and trust in Him even during times of testing.
So, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”
Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
It is our duty to encourage one another daily in keeping the faith so that none of us turn away from the Lord which means we have to be involved in one another’s lives and we have to be willing to speak out against acts that would be dishonoring to God. We need to encourage each other by reminding each other of what God has already done for us and what He is still doing in our lives. We must be willing to stand alongside one another when things get tough so that those who are going through trials do not have to carry the weight of the trial on their own.
Remember that Jesus came so that we could have life and have it to the fullest. What is stopping you from living your life to the fullest today? Where is your focus? Are you focused on seeking God and following Him or are you focused on something else? We each have a choice to make every single day and in each moment of the day whether or not to seek God and follow Him or not. When we do not we become separated from God and it is only by truly repenting of our sins that we will be able to begin to restore our relationship with God and with others. Thank God that by His grace through the blood of Jesus Christ that our sins have been paid for and that we can be forgiven when we truly repent!